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Light On Anxiety Expert Perspectives: LOA in the News

Make Yourself Priority

By Debra Kissen

We all dread the question.. We tend to find ourselves not knowing what to say or how to conceptualize our excuses as to why we don’t do it. The idea sounds great and all but “I just don’t have the time.” 

The question is: What do you do for self-care? The answer is not that we don’t have the time.. It’s that we fail to make the time to take care of ourselves. By definition, self-care is intentionally scheduling in the time to take care of our mental, physical and emotional health. There is a significant difference between finding and making the time. Finding the time essentially means that we plan to create an excuse later as to why we did not complete our desired task..Making the time is setting aside valued time to check-in with ourselves and figure out what we need in that moment. Notice the wording difference between finding and making.. “completing a task” vs. “check-in with ourselves” One sounds like a chore while the other sounds compassionate and genuine.

Now with that being said, I get it. It’s easier said than done and not as easy as it sounds. It’s much easier to take care of others than it is to take care of ourselves. But guess what? You can’t pour from an empty cup. So if you want to increase your ability to be present in your friendships and relationships AND continue to be efficient and productive at work while still having time for yourself, then MAKE YOURSELF PRIORITY. How? Hold yourself accountable.

There are many ways to hold ourselves accountable when it comes to self-care. I struggled with self-care in the past but have made significant progress in allowing myself to attend to my needs instead of ignoring them. I looked into different things that were both intriguing to me but also gave me that time to compassionately check-in with myself. Here are the 2:

1: Sensory Deprivation Tank

I went to this place called Float Sixty. I heard of it of course, but never tried; a little hesitant and a little scared. You float in salt water for 60 (or 90) minutes..Nothing about this sounded appealing at first. I viewed it as being “stuck” with my mind for an hour..Which sounds dreadful.. I couldn’t figure out what I was so scared of.  So, I booked an appointment to figure out what it was all about (accountability!!). It ended up being a great experience. I found that it was much more peaceful than I anticipated and felt that with practice, this could really strengthen my mind-body connection.  There were no external sounds, no lights, no distractions in your float room. Afterwards, they also had a “calm” room where you can drink tea, relax (or nap) and just indulge on your experience. 

2: Self-Care Subscription

One of my clients actually told me about this, go figure. I learn the most from them anyhow. So as anyone in this generation would, I found myself googling “self-care subscriptions” and it brought me to this website called Cratejoy. You can choose different themed boxes that are sent monthly as a way to implement self-care into your day-to-day routine. I ended up ordering the “mini” Mindwander box (there are two options: mini and a normal sized box with more inside). It ships the 4th of every month holding you accountable to complete as much as you can within that month. Each month has a different theme. The month I purchased mine was “mindfulness” so inside the box I found the following:

  • A mindfulness “mini” workbook with exercises and activities to complete and resources such as podcasts and apps
  • A felt notebook
  • A deck of Mindfulness Journal Prompts
  • fresh tea leaves
  • 5 shower bombs (steam activated aromatherapy bombs)

I am on week 3 and it feels great to set aside time at the end of my day to incorporate mindfulness into my routine. You genuinely start to feel and notice a higher sense of awareness of yourself, your thoughts and your emotions.

I know it’s not easy but you have to be patient with yourself and you have to recognize that you deserve this time for you and no one else. Figure out what works for you, based on your schedule, your interests and most importantly..your needs.

Develop a sense of true accountability and make yourself priority.

I wish you the best in your self-care journey!

Dr. Debra Kissen is CEO of Light On Anxiety CBT Treatment Center. Dr. Kissen specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)...

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